Recording: The Man Who Sold The World

David Bowie began recording his third album The Man Who Sold The World on 17 April 1970.

The session took place from 1am at London’s Advision Sound Studios, with Tony Visconti playing bass guitar and producing. Mick Ronson was on guitar and Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey was on drums for his first David Bowie session.

The four-hour session included work on ‘All The Madmen’. At this stage, however, Bowie had little in the way of written material, forcing the other musicians to work up song ideas.

It’s hard to say how much you do when you write a song with someone else, and even though we weren’t credited as writers, Mick and I were getting the chord changes together. ‘Width Of A Circle’ was the only track that was written, and that was only the first part of the song that was written. The second part, where it goes into a boogie, was written in the studio, and Mick and I definitely wrote all that, and David just threw all his words and melody on top. ‘All The Madmen’, for instance, originally had a working title of ‘The Man Who Sold The World’. Later, we just laid down the chords, the arrangements, the guitar solos, the synthesisers, the recorders, and David would be out in the lobby of Advision, holding hands with Angie.
Tony Visconti, 1982
The Record Producers, John Tobler and Stuart Grundy
Last updated: 30 March 2023
Mixing: Memory Of A Free Festival
Recording: The Man Who Sold The World
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